Motion on patriotism bill ill-timed: Molokele

Hwange Central legislator, Daniel Molokele, has said a motion on the patriotism bill is ill-timed and irrelevant to Zimbabweans especially from Matabeleland and the Midlands who have suffered torture and abuse at the hands of the government.

Of late there have been calls by the ZANU-PF-led government for the Parliament to enact laws that oblige Zimbabweans to be patriotic and not demonise the country while in other countries.

Speaking in Parliament Tuesday, Molokele said he was opposed to the motion on the Patriotism Bill.

“I think this motion is mistimed and misplaced,” said Molokele. 

“Starting by the definition of patriotism- patriotism is an act of love and commitment.  It comes from the heart of the person.  You cannot legislate and display patriotism.”

He said Zimbabweans should instead focus on nation building. 

“We should focus on things that unite us as a people,” he suggested. 

“Whilst we want to build this nation together, we do not need to have Parliament debating something like a Patriotism Bill because everyone will be happy and everyone will be proud to be associated with this country. In my view, those who have moved this motion have put the cart before the horse. There are a lot of unresolved issues in this country that need to be addressed by this Parliament. If it is indeed the people’s Parliament, it must be sensitive to the reality of the issues on the ground. For us to debate this kind of motion is a very disappointing situation for the Parliament of Zimbabwe.”

He said Zimbabweans were suffering as a result of bad political decisions made by the country’s leaders.

“Decisions made in the past that have brought so much pain to the people of Zimbabwe,” decried Molokele.

“We can give examples over history. In 1982 to 1986, thousands of people were killed in Matabeleland North and Midlands and up to today this Parliament of Zimbabwe has not taken a clear stance in making sure that the people of the Midlands, and Matabeleland are fully restored to the national development agenda. Up to today, they remain marginalised from the national development agenda.”

He added: “So you cannot as a Parliament of Zimbabwe come back to the people of Matabeleland and people of the Midlands who were victimised in this country and teach them about patriotism before you address the issues that affect them today. Some do not have birth certificates, some do not know where their relatives are buried, some were forced to go to Botswana and South Africa and they are still displaced as refugees and asylum seekers in foreign countries.”

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